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The Very Thought of You by @clairepmarti is a Shake Off Winter Doldrums Festival Pick #romance

Title: The Very Thought of You

Author: Claire Marti

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Blurb:

A perfectionistic equine vet. A gorgeous fireman. An unrequited high school crush blazes hot twelve years later.

Reliable Amanda McNeill’s world toppled last summer when Hollywood invaded her family’s horse breeding ranch. Everyone’s moving onward and upward, but she’s in a massive rut. Weary of her label as the dependable older sister, she yearns to throw predictability to the wind and embrace spontaneity. She can be impulsive, even wild, and a hot fling with Jake Cruz might be the sizzle she needs to jumpstart her life.

When firefighter Jake Cruz rescues a dog from a hit-and-run, the nearest vet is none other than his high school tutor, Amanda McNeill. Face to face with his former crush, he finds her to be even more beautiful than he remembers, and her charming blushes and heated glances tell him she notices him this time around. While Jake longs to discover if this Amanda matches the girl who starred in his adolescent fantasies, his desire to become fire captain, and earn his family's pride, requires he focus on work, not passion.

Could his dream woman become his real love or will his professional ambitions extinguish their chances? Once the smoke clears, will Amanda realize Jake isn’t a fling but her hero after all?


She’d spent most of her life always choosing the safe path. She’d been the big sister to her twin siblings when they’d lost their mom. The shy, private bookworm, her books and her animals had always comforted her. She was the only McNeill family member who didn’t either wear their heart on their sleeve or have a temper like a rollercoaster.

No matter how much she despised the label, she was a practical woman. Sensible even. When Jake and she were together, undeniable chemistry sizzled in the air between them.

As a practical woman, the smart move would be to take the situation into her own hands. She’d test it out to see how he reacted, but if he was even half as attracted to her as she was to him, she’d make the first move.

It was the sensible thing to do, considering the circumstances.

What did she have to lose?

Well, besides her pride and possibly her free personal trainer.

And her dog.

But what if her gamble paid off? She shivered.

He sat quietly next to her, the warmth from his skin reaching across the space between them. There was just so much smooth bronzed skin, stretched taut against all the sinewy muscles. She’d never been this close to such a perfect physical specimen.

Heat pooled low in her belly. This was ridiculous. They hadn’t even kissed yet and she was on fire for him. She’d never had this type of reaction to a guy before. Maybe if she had, she would have gone on more dates over the last six years.

And maybe because she hadn’t gone on many dates over the last six years was exactly why she was so on fire. Regardless.

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What’s your favorite activity to shake off the winter doldrums?

Get outside! I’m lucky to live in San Diego, California, and the winter is mild. But I still bundle up with a puffy vest, wool beanie, and leg warmers before I go out and walk on the beach.

Why is your featured book a cure for the winter blues?

Amanda and Jake’s story will warm your heart. There’s a rescued dog, a cinnamon roll hero who had a crush on the heroine in high school and now has a chance with her. This slow-burn romance will give you all the feels!


Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Open internationally.

Runs March 1 – 31

Drawing will be held on April 1.

Author Biography:

Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga.

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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Mar 02, 2020

Thank you, Claire, for sharing your book in our Shake Off Winter Doldrums. Let's get shakin'!

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